If your spouse has a narcissistic personality or a personality disorder in general, obtaining a divorce can be troublesome. Depending how long you have been in a relationship or marriage with a narcissist, you may already know the signs, behaviors, and triggers. However, in a litigated divorce action you must learn how to approach the legal process in a positive manner for your mental health, emotional health, financial health, and the health of your children. Keep reading for more information.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
A narcissist personality is a mental condition in which the individual has an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for excessive attention and a lack of empathy for others. Usually, they have a history of troubled relationships. A narcissist will appear noticeably confident but will have a very fragile self-esteem and reject any sort of criticism.
Signs You Are in A Narcissistic Relationship
In the beginning of the relationship, you are showered with love and praise but that is usually short lived, and signs begin to point to the narcissist personality disor2der taking hold in the relationship. The narcissist spouse must be the center of attention, is always the victim, are needy and require excessive amounts of attention, argue over seemingly insignificant matters, are very critical of you, they believe they are always right, trick you into believing you are “crazy” or have a mental disorder, if challenged they will lash out and most critically lack empathy towards you, family and even their own children.
How To Divorce a Narcissist
The first step is to take a stand to leave the toxic marriage. Many spouses are manipulated to stay in toxic marriages as a true narcissist will do anything and say anything to avoid what they perceive is an ultimate rejection. This includes manipulation of the spouse, family, friends, finances and even the children.
Can My Divorce Lawyer Help?
Yes, as Westchester County Divorce lawyers we have extensive experience with divorce and family law matters involving narcissist personalities and other personality disorders. We first provide a sharp strategy to keep your case moving forward to obtain your goals, especially since the narcissist spouse will try to manipulate the process to stay dominant.
As divorce lawyers we also recommend you obtain as much emotional support as possible from family or friends as well as professional therapeutic help. It is of the utmost importance that you stay mentally and emotionally strong during the divorce process as this is the path to your independence.
How Do I Get the Divorce Process Started?
To begin a divorce process from a narcissist, keep a few important points in mind. First, avoid reacting emotionally and getting into heated confrontations with the narcissist spouse. They will turn your arguments against you and play the victim to manipulate you into giving up.
Second, be independent wherever possible. A narcissist will make you believe they are the only person who can rescue you or convince you they are the only ones trying to save the marriage. Third, prepare for their even stronger attempts to manipulate you throughout the divorce process.
Work with your lawyers, emotional support system and set goals for yourself, finances, your children, and your future. Lastly, leave the arguing to the lawyers. A narcissist spouse will bait you into arguments as often as possible to paint you as aggressive and unstable. This is a common manipulative strategy.
How Do I Prepare for The Divorce?
In any divorce it is important to gather as much information as possible. A narcissist spouse will destroy documents or claim they are lost to frustrate the process. Gathering paperwork and evidence early is the best preparation as this will give you an advantage in the divorce.
Gather and protect the following information:
- Bank statements; savings, checking and investment
- Real estate documents
- Tax returns with W-2 and/or 1099 information related to income
- Insurance documents
- Mortgages information
- Retirement accounts
- Pay stubs
- Documentation of valuable jewelry, antiques, art, etc.
- Estate plans such as last wills and trusts
- Documentation of your personal inheritance
- Police reports of incidents involving your spouse
- Relevant communication such as texts and emails
- All information regarding your children including school and medical
Will My Divorce Be Complex?
If your divorce will be complex depends on a number of factors. In general, divorcing a narcissist is difficult simply because they come into the process with a win at any cost attitude. They will not play fair and will be difficult for the sake of being difficult.
As Westchester County divorce lawyers, our goal is to prepare you for this process and how to successfully manage the stress. Sometimes it can be an emotional roller-coaster, but we are here to help you and protect your rights.
At Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP we are ready to help you get through any challenging divorce in Westchester County, New York. We regularly handle complicated cases, and we pride ourselves in obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients. Call us today for a free initial consultation to review your individual situation with a narcissistic spouse and how to remove yourself from that toxic marriage.
Call us today at (914) 840-5104.